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Art Show Musings

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:54 pm
by tetsujin
This is a discussion we were having in the 2018 con feedback thread - it's sort of drifting away from anything truly "con feedback" so I'm continuing it here.

We were discussing an apparent reduction in the number of Art Show entries, and sellers choosing to sell their works without the auction process...
Thrillho wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:22 pm
tetsujin wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:04 pm
If you'd like to see more art in the art show, the most straightforward solution would be to make some art and bring it to the art show. :)
Yeah, sure. Let me get right on that. You got about $60K I can have for art school? ;-)
Do you think everybody in the art show, or artists' alley even, went to art school? Do you think it's necessary?

(I think there's certainly a lot one can learn from art school, but we're also talking about an environment where the expectation is that work will be derivative, drawing on existing characters and designs, and done in a simplified art style that was invented to make animation cheaper...)

I understand if you're not already producing art work, it's a long, hard road to get to the point of producing something show-worthy... But this is kind of my go-to reaction when someone says someone else should do something cool to enhance the con. It's like a "Be the change you want to see" kind of attitude, but on a pragmatic level - wishing for someone else to do it often just isn't practical. That's why I'm a panelist, and that's why I'm in the art show, too.
Though, a good question for you tetsujin: If AB took a smaller commission, would that incentivize you to provide more artwork for sale? What if the proceeds were for charity?
Honestly at this point it probably wouldn't make a difference to me personally. Mainly because I'm just testing the waters at this point. I'm not overly concerned with the whole endeavour making financial sense (as in, if I take the money I got, subtract the cost of the materials, and divide by the number of hours I worked on the thing, is that better than minimum wage?) - At this point I'm down for giving it a try just to see what happens. The only reason I haven't already is because I didn't get my project done. That's the real obstacle for me, I just need to get more work done. But if I get to the point where I routinely try to sell work at the con, I'd be more concerned about making sure that it really was worth my time. The commission wouldn't impact my willingness to put the work up for sale, but the price would need to account for that commission, and that could impact my chances of actually selling something (and thus, indirectly, my motivation to try to sell something at the con). Like if I was thinking I ought to be getting like $200 for a piece, but there was that commission, I'd need to price it at $250, which could make it even harder to sell. Where that commission goes is largely immaterial to me.

But I think if we're talking about incentives, "more money" is at least an easy one to think about, probably an easy one to implement.